May 23rd, 2013

It seems appropriate that this summer-vegetable-oriented fieldwork week should end with a nice summer thunderstorm. Yesterday we suckered tomatoes, trellised and trained cucumbers and this afternoon, we transplanted the last of the eggplant and peppers for the year! This spring we’ve seen a lot of leafy and root vegetables. A sign of summer = fruits – and by fruits, I mean the botanical kind with the seeds are on the inside = tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants as well as watermelon and cantaloupes. 

The Road Block: In order to accommodate your vegetables this year, we’ve added another 9000 square feet (1/5 acre) to our production. Plowing that block (creatively named after its location next to the driveway) was truly liberating – opening up a lot more options for summer and fall vegetables. We are constantly feeling the need for more land, accommodating that need was a relief to say the least. We inaugurated this block Sunday afternoon (before and during the rain) with a variety of beans and winter squash. We put the final touches – an electric fence around it this morning. 

We welcome Kari Finn from the Sustainable Agriculture Program of CCCC in Pittsboro, NC to Sugar Creek Farm this summer! Look for her at the upcoming markets. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend,
Natalie and the Sugar Creek Crew

New this week: Kohlrabi! aka the space turnip. Kohl (cabbage) + rabi (turnip) is a cross between a cabbage and turnip that is sweet and crunchy vegetable with great tasting greens. I enjoy peeling it and eating it like an apple, Michael Hastings from the WSJ recently posted an article about kohlrabi. He’s got several recipes posted there or the sandwhich:

Kohlrabi Sandwiches (Leslie France)
Unsalted butter, softened
Pumpernickel bread
Thick-sliced kohlrabi
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Generously butter 2 slices of bread and make sandwich with the kohlrabi as the “meat.” Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 1 serving. 

Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Beets

Servings: 4-6
Total Time: 45 Minutes


· 6 medium beets
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
· 1/3 cup inexpensive balsamic vinegar
· 1 tablespoon maple syrup
· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the leafy stems and roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2-inch chunks.
2. Place the cut beets on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, tossing once with a spatula midway through, until the beets are tender when pierced with a thin-bladed knife.
3. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar and maple syrup in a small, shallow sauté pan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is just slightly thickened and lightly coats the back of a metal spoon. It should be reduced by about half (or to about 3 tablespoons). Pay close attention and be sure not to over-reduce it; it goes from sweet and syrupy to burnt and hard very quickly.
4. Toss the glaze with the roasted beets. Serve hot or cold.

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